| July-August 2015
|The parade of banners, representing Tres Dias communities around the world, opened the 36th Annual Assembly, July 10th to 12th, in Rockford, Illinois.|
The theme of the Assembly was encouragement, based on Hebrews 10:26, "Let us consider how we can spur one another on to love and good deeds, encouraging one another."
The President's Message
The past several years have been tough for many of us. Nationwide, churches have seen a 20 percent decrease in attendance, and many of our communities have also experienced declines in the number of candidates.
Until recently, Tres Dias has enjoyed an annual ten percent growth in the number of new communities. Will we be able to continue this trend? Will we be able to take this teaching method to even more cities in the US and around the world? Will the millennials be led to embrace the spiritual experience that Tres Dias has to offer?
I believe the answer to these questions is yes. But we have to change a few things.
No more secrets!
When someone asks about the weekend, tell them everything! You can't spoil the presence of God by explaining Him ahead of time. When He shows up in the room, all expectations are simply inadequate to describe the magnitude of His presence.Why then do you think you can spoil a Tres Dias weekend by telling someone what is going to happen? The imagination cannot paint a picture that big or that beautiful.
Quit over-controlling the candidates!
The candidates are there of their own free will and we need to treat them as guests, not prisoners. Do not dictate every minute of every day! Give them free time without structure so they can properly digest what they have heard.
Ask them to set their cellphones and watches aside, but do not take them or demand they turn them in or put them in a basket! The millennials and even older guests will reject you and then reject your message.
Love, respect, service, and the power of your testimony during your talks will bring the victory and put us back on the path of taking this message to people around the world!
Thank you, and may God richly bless you and your ministry.
New Candidate Brochure Published
"What's in it for me? How will my life be better?"
A new candidate brochure, published by the Services Committee, and distributed at the Assembly, answers those questions by describing what happens on a weekend and how those events will deepen the candidate's spiritual life.
"Each day, you'll hear a series of instructional and inspirational talks that reveal how God has impacted the speaker's life in a deeply personal way. You'll learn from their insights, struggles and triumphs as you reflect on your own faith journey. In small group discussions, key points from the talks will open your heart to the reality of God's grace in your life."
The approach, gentle, inviting, and encouraging, assures the reader that "Whether you are a fairly new believer in Christ, or have been faithfully walking with the Lord for years. . . .In these three short days, God will meet you where you are, call you to His purpose, and send you back into the world better prepared to live an abundant life."
The inside text reminds the reader that growing closer to God takes action on the reader's part. "It starts with a seeking heart. You take a small step in God's general direction. Then you stop. And wait. And hope." The text goes on to say that reading the Bible and going to church "are some of the tools the Lord uses to answer the whispers of your heart. Tres Dias is one of those tools . . . your personal appointment with your Lord and Savior."
The brochure is in the traditional three-fold format. The Tres Dias Statement of Beliefs appears on the outside center panel. The brochure can be ordered in quantity from the supplies section of the Tres Dias website or downloaded from the electronic library.
Also New from the Services Committee
For the past several years, the committee has been struggling to implement a Web-based database for maintaining up-to-date information on the communities. With assistance from professionals in the field, the committee rolled out the database this month and reports that it is working well. As in the past, to update information about your community, send a message to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Assembly Workshop Report
Sponsorship: Inviting candidates, supporting on the weekend, and providing fourth-day aftercare
The Assembly workshop on sponsorship proved to be exceptionally popular. Organized as a panel discussion, the workshop opened with introductory statements by the three panelists, Mark Hill, Dawn Harper, and Jeb Harper. Excerpts from those initial presentations appear below.
Inviting Candidates: Whom Do You Ask and How?
by Mark Hill
But in your hearts, set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.
I Peter 3:15
Before I can invite anyone on Tres Dias, there are a couple of things that I need to know and do. I need to pray that God would show me how to make a friend, be a friend and bring that friend into a closer relationship with Christ. That may or may not happen through Tres Dias. Remember: no one needs Tres Dias, but everyone needs Christ!
Next, I ask myself several questions. First, can others see the hope I have in Christ? Am I prepared to tell them what Christ has done in my life? Then, can others see my passion and love in participating in Tres Dias? Can I explain to others what the Tres Dias weekend has meant in my life?
Before I went on a Tres Dias weekend, I was living my life for myself. I was a Mechanical Mike in my worship and a Phony Phil outside my church group.
My weekend showed me how passionate Christ was for me, how I wasn't passionate for Christ. I saw that I was taking God for granted and not living a life as an Ambassador for Christ. I had not fully understood and accepted God's grace and love.
So now I am passionate for people who were like me and my generation, and those are the people I like to invite. I don't want anybody in my church, family and friends to be like I was -- lost in a phony world made of masks. I want them to know Christ and know him intimately.
So whom do I ask? Well, hopefully, prayerfully and through the power of the Holy Spirit, people can see Christ in me and ask me why I believe. When they do ask, I have an opportunity to invite them to Tres Dias. But I will invite most anybody who has a basic belief and understanding of Christ, no matter how mature or immature their walk may be. However, one must remember, Tres Dias is not a cure all for emotional, marital, mental or monetary problems. Only Christ is!
My approach varies, but it is always casual and natural, and based on the principle: Wear your love for Christ on your sleeve and be an Ambassador for Christ through Tres Dias.
Supporting Your Candidate on the Weekend
By Dawn Harper
So I run with purpose in every step. I am not just shadow boxing. 1 Corinthians 9:26
Once we have that "Yes!" and an application has been submitted, the diligence begins. Your job is to help prepare your candidate for their weekend. God has hand-picked them for this weekend, and you are part of that plan!
Be attentive to any practical Issues that may come up while they are away. For example:
- Children or pets that need care
- Watching their home
- Errands that can only been done on the weekend
True, these things may be difficult for you to take care of if you are serving on or working the weekend. But the Tres Dias community is there to help. So look up a couple friends in Christ to help out. Reunion group members come in handy for just these times.
Be sure your candidate has a list of items that they will need to bring. But make sure they understand they will be cared for very well and need only the essentials.
Encourage them to leave their world behind (phones, laptops, etc.) and immerse themselves in the weekend. The world can wait.
The letters are such a big part of the weekend. The transition from the 3rd day to the 4th day begins when the candidates (soon-to-be pescadores) open that first letter. The more you know about your candidate, the more letters you can arrange for the candidate to receive. Think about the candidate's family and circle of friends, including work, church, and hobbies. You only need one contact in each group. Assign that one person to get you five, ten more contacts to write letters. Keep contacting! Whether it's email, phone calls, texting, or personal visits.
All these servant steps are opportunities to show your Love for others. As long as we keep LOVE front and center, your running will not be shadow boxing; it will be purposeful for Christ.
Aftercare for Pescadores on their 4th Day
By Jeb Harper
Be sure you know your flocks, give careful attention to your herds. Proverbs 27:13
The better you know your candidate, the easier it will be to provide opportunities for them to stay engaged after the weekend.There are two kinds of opportunities: Tres Dias opportunities and personal opportunities.
Tres Dias Opportunities:
- The first opportunity is at the closura: Invite special people from the community.This builds support.
- Reunion groups are critical! Identify any obstacles (gas money, distance, etc.) and solve them. Consider helping start a new group.
- Secuelas, send-offs, and serenades/mananitas--these events keep them involved. Encourage them to serve on the next team. Offer to serve with them.
- I like to call the next day after the weekend--regular contact in the first weeks is very important. Visit their church. Fellowship one-on-one.
- Bonfires, cookouts, etc.
- Invite them to Christian concerts, special events, Bible studies
- Seek unique ways to show them the love of Christ.
Sponsorship is serious business. Be persistent. The payback comes when acquaintances turn into life-long friends and followers of Christ. Back to Top
|Membership Report: New and Emerging Communities
Congratulations to the two new communities that were chartered this fiscal year:
Kansas City Tres Dias
Northeast Georgia Tres Dias
There are ten emerging communities in the US:
|Alamo City Tres Dias||Central Texas Tres Dias||0|
|Grace Gulf Tres Dias||North Texas Tres Dias||3|
|John 3:17 Tres Dias||Central Arizona Tres Dias||0|
|Midwest Kansas City Tres Dias||St. Louis Tres Dias ||3|
|North East Texas Tres Dias||East Texas Tres Dias|| 3|
|Northwest Foothills of Georgia||Southeast Tennessee Tres Dias|| 4|
|Southeast Alabama Tres Dias||Chattahoochee Valley Tres Dias|| 0|
|Northwest Arkansas Tres Dias||Music City Tres Dias|| 1|
|Tres Dias Con Dios||
Southeast Tennessee Tres Dias
There are three international emerging communities
|Voronezh, Russia||Moscow Tres Dias|| 12|
|Chiclayo, Peru||Peru Tres Dias|| 3|
|Southern Ontario||Northern Virginia Tres Dias|| 3|
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Results of Proxy Ballots and Officer/Member Elections
Two issues had been presented to the communities by proxy ballot prior to the Assembly. The first issued asked for approval of the proposed budget of $56,200.00 for Fiscal Year 2015 (July 12, 2015 through July 11, 2016). This passed by unanimous vote.
The second issue asked for a by-law change that would reduce the total voting members of the Secretariat from 27 to 23. This passed by a large majority (101 to 16).
The election results are as follows:
| Office|| Name|| Community|| State|
|Treasurer||Sue Loveland||Mid-Hudson||New York|
|Secretary||Jan Coleman||Northern California||California|
|VP Administration||Valerie Mehl||Mid-Hudson||New York|
| Name|| Community||State|
|Bill Shoemaker||Northeast Georgia||Georgia|
|Mark Babb||Northern Virginia||Virginia|
|Phil Mazur||Sabine Creek ||Texas|
|John Brunette||Central Arizona||Arizona|
|Merv LeMasurier||Central Connecticut||Connecticut|
|Tom Miller||Abundant Life||Illinois|
|Cathy Allen||Trinity Valley||Texas|
|Tom Morrison||Music City||Tennessee|
|Teresa Babb||Northern Virginia||Virginia|
Susan Kenna-Farkas will be first person called on as a replacement for an unexpired term,
Mike Holmes will be the second person, and Jane Brantley-Henderson will be the third person.
Monkey Money for the Tres Dias Fund
|Encouragement the Sock Monkey|
The monkey pictured at the right has a special place in Rockford, Illinois, history. In the late nineteenth century, a Swedish immigrant named John Nelson patented an automatic knitting machine, and his company, located in downtown Rockford, became known worldwide for the "Celebrated Rockford Seamless Hosiery." In the 1930s, a red heal was added to work socks. And during the Depression, used socks were made into the dolls now known as sock monkeys.
Linda Mensching, serving as Palanca Queen for the Assembly, created six original monkeys to be auctioned off in support of the Tres Dias Fund. The monkeys were named Faith, Hope, Gratitude, Love, Patience, and (in support of the Assembly theme) Encouragement. The silent auction raised $730 for the fund.
The Tres Dias Fund was established to provide financial aid to new communities and to existing communities that are in need. Monies for the fund come from individual and community contributions. During the past year, funds were dispersed to help eight communities.
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Surrounded by Prayer
|Beka Iler and Paul Weis unroll the prayer vigil scroll|
Try this at your next weekend!
The Assembly ended with a dramatic note--the unrolling of a gigantic, butcher-paper scroll, long enough to literally surround the officers and delegates. Written on the scroll was the visual evidence of a prayer vigil that had supported the Assembly, night and day, from the opening session to the closing secuela. Marked off in half-hour segments were the names, community affiliations, and locations of the prayer warriors, some from as far away as Japan and Denmark, who had been covering the meeting with prayer.
The idea is worth repeating for local weekends. Candidates can be deeply moved when told that people in the community have been praying for them. What is even more moving is knowing that the prayers have been continuous, night and day, for the 72 hours of the weekend. Still more moving is the news that the prayers have come not just from the local community, but also from members of fourth-day communities around the world.
To create an online prayer vigil, go to Three Day Weekends Online (http://www.3dayol.org/) and follow directions. The roll of butcher paper can be purchased at Costco or Walmart, among other places.
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|October 23-25, 2015 Secretariat||Tres Dias of Southeast Tennessee (Chattanooga area)|
|March 4-6, 2016: Secretariat||Tampa Bay TD|
|July 15-17, 2016: Assembly & Secretariat||Mid-Hudson TD, Poughkeepsie-Newburg area, New York |